But, here we are. I'm bestowing upon you a delicious cake recipe with a whipped cream that really pushed me out of my comfort zone. And I was rewarded for that risk. You will be, too.
I've been a scosche homesick the past few days. Weird, right? Things are going really well in LA. And by "really well" I mean things are fine and I'm seeing shows and doing some shows and I have friends. Winter is a great time to be away from Minnesota. Arguably the best. Not once this year have I had to dig my car out from a snow trench, or perform the delicate ritual of turning on the defroster/scraping/using windshield wiper fluid. I haven't bit it on black ice. But now... now Minnesota is starting to plan for summer, and I am, too. Things are gearing up for the Twin Cities Improv Festival, which I'll come home for in June. I recently found out I'll get to write and put up another play in the Minnesota Fringe Festival (I'm heavily leaning towards the subject of sister wives). And I long for an afternoon at Target Field, watching Twins baseball and sipping a Grainbelt. I'll get to do all of these things, but just not for a few more months. Neither will Minnesota. So, I guess in the meantime, I should just enjoy the sunshine and shut the eff up.
What I don't miss in the transition from spring to summer is tornado season. I just absolutely cannot deal. Tornadoes are my ultimate biggest fear, aside from death and, like, certain social situations. One could say I don't have a specific "reason" to fear tornadoes as much as I do, but NEWS FLASH, WE SHOULD ALL FEAR TORNADOES AS MUCH AS I DO. They are terrifying forces of nature that come down from the sky and destroy everything. Stop filming them. Get off your porch. Seek shelter.
I became so good at assessing the feel of weather patterns that by Jr. High, I could accurately predict forthcoming severe weather on a sunny and pleasant morning. I would spend entire summer days planning how quickly I could get to a basement around 5pm when a severe thunderstorm would hit. Real fun to be around, always.
I'm sure watching The Wizard of Oz upwards of three times a day in my first formative years didn't help anything (cool parenting). The Wicked Witch? Please. I *got* her. I *was* her (for Halloween, four years in a row). The tornado is the biggest antagonist in that film and don't even try to tell me it's the inciting incident and it takes her to a magical land she wouldn't have otherwise experienced, because it's just straight-up the villain.
My fear of tornadoes didn't necessarily *help* me socially. There was an incident in 5th grade that I still can't scientifically explain. Maybe you nerds can help. I was chilling on the handicap swing during recess, like you do, singing Smash Mouth's All Star to myself. Suddenly, a brief but mighty tornadic and circular gust of wind hit me and it WHIPPED ME AROUND in the handicap swing so aggressively, I THREW UP. The gust continued along the playground, ultimately seizing someone's notebook and Pokemon cards and CARRYING THEM INTO THE SKY, never to be seen again. LIKE, DISAPPEARED FOREVER. They probably went to Oz, where munchkins embraced the trading card trend.
|Andrea Klaassen didn't remember these swings, so here's a visual.|
Our school was right next to a major highway, so I don't know if some kind of semi truck wind-lock caused this weather phenomenon -- just another reason our school was not safe next a major highway. Of course, because it's my life, we happened to have a planned tornado drill later that afternoon. We all filed into the hallways and assumed the position and of course I started sobbing, because why couldn't everyone remember I had basically already lived through a tornado that day?? Kids were... unkind.
Then, in 7th grade, an event which most of my friends still remember -- we experienced a real tornado warning (that's a step up from a watch, people, that means it's HAPPENING) in the last period of school. We were in gym class when the sirens went off -- appropriate, because anytime a bunch of gross 7th graders are wearing their unwashed gym uniforms, there should be sirens. We sought shelter in the girls' locker room, which was incredibly exciting for all of the dumb boys. Great, congratulations, you're going to die crouched next to Clair Wenzel's locker, how awesome for you. While most of the class was exploring flirting, I was crying and listening in on Mrs. Gleason's walkie-talkie. Apparently the funnel cloud was DIRECTLY ABOVE THE SCHOOL. I lost my mind. Turns out there was no damage and nothing really happened. Kids were... unkind.
Now, I can translate my fear of tornadoes to other natural disasters that occur in my new home -- earthquakes, mud slides and career failure.
Time for cake! The recipe I found worked in ounces, which is just, like, total bullshit. I've modified the amounts for REGULAR HUMANS. It's still annoying. We all have our crosses to bear.
Devil's Food Cake with Raspberry Whipped Cream
1 cup boiling water
(6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cocoa powder) + (2 1/3 teaspoons baking soda) = Dutch-process cocoa
1 cup + 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
(2/3 cup all-purpose flour + 5 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch) = cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sour cream
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1 bag frozen raspberries
(This will make a LOT of whipped cream. Lots of extra for just... eating. Or for adding to Cocoa Krispies. No judgement.)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Grease two 9-inch round pans.
In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa powder mixture and boiling water until clump-free.
|This bowl wasn't large enough. Don't make my mistakes.|
Combine sugar, flours, baking soda and salt in a large bowl or stand mixer.
Whisk the oil, sour cream, eggs and egg yolks in a pourable container and be 100% grossed out by this mixture.
Add the sick-ass oil mixture to the cocoa/water and whisk to completion.
|This bowl was big enough.|
Using a low speed on your mixer or hand, slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry. Stop to scrape the bowl when needed, and continue to mix until smooth.
Eat some batter and take a minute to luxuriate.
Pour the batter into the pans and bake for about 30 minutes. I baked the cakes separately, because I only had one pan, so the time might vary. Check the cakes around 25-30 minutes and use the toothpick test to determine if they're done.
Let the cakes cool on wire racks. Don't rush this. Take a nap if you need to. Do the dishes. They need to be completely cool. B-)
|Just chillin', bein' cakes.|
Whipped cream time!
I hope you get as excited as I do about homemade whipped cream. Borderline inappropriate.
Get that whipping cream and sugar a-goin' in your stand mixer and witness MAGIC.
When it starts to thicken, pour those frozen raspberries right in. This was the aforementioned risk and boy, did it ever pay off.
Watch as your whipped cream becomes even thicker and PINK and basically the most beautiful thing you've ever created with little to no effort.
|I know, I know, I'm an American hero.|
Apply the whipped cream to the top of one of the cakes and be generous. Remember, you will end up with more whipped cream than you know what to do with (eat).
Stack that second cake on top and go to town with that beautiful whipped cream. Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Slice and enjoy. Repeat. Share, if you must. Eat whipped cream for days after as an accessory to any number of snacks.
|Get in there.|
This is a pretty chocolate-y cake and next time, I might try using the raspberry whipped cream for an angel food cake or something lighter -- although this combo did work.
DEVIL'S FOOD/ANGEL FOOD -- THIS JUST OCCURRED TO ME.